Linear accelerator at World Class Hospitals in India

A linear accelerator (LINAC) is the device most commonly used for external beam radiation treatments for patients with cancer. The linear accelerator can also be used in stereotactic radiosurgery similar to that achieved using the gamma knife on targets within the brain. The linear accelerator can also be used to treat areas outside of the brain. It delivers a uniform dose of high-energy x-ray to the region of the patient’s tumor. These x-rays can destroy the cancer cells while sparing the surrounding normal tissue. A linear accelerator is also used for Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT).

Linear accelerator therapy is a high-precision radiosurgery. High-energy x-rays are employed in this therapy to kill the tumor cells. A LINAC device called the wave guide is used. Microwave technology is used to accelerate electrons in a part of this device. These accelerated electrons are directed towards a strong metal target, and these collisions lead to the generation of high-energy x-rays, which are further used to cure tumor patients.

Why Linear Accelerators are Important and how they Work

The linear accelerator uses microwave technology (similar to that used for radar) to accelerate electrons in a part of the accelerator called the “wave guide”, then allows these electrons to collide with a heavy metal target. As a result of the collisions, high-energy x-rays are scattered from the target. A portion of these x-rays is collected and then shaped to form a beam that matches the patient’s tumor.

The beam comes out of a part of the accelerator called a gantry, which rotates around the patient. The patient lies on a moveable treatment couch and lasers are used to make sure the patient is in the proper position. Radiation can be delivered to the tumor from any angle by rotating the gantry and moving the treatment couch.

Benefits of Linear Accelerator (LINAC)

The best usage of LINAC technology may be its ability to target larger brain and body cancers with less damage to healthy tissues. LINAC systems are able to treat larger tumors and larger affected areas than the Gamma Knife. Areas other than the brain can be treated with a LINAC system. Linear accelerator systems may also be used for external beam radiation therapy.

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